Over the course of three weeks in August and September 2016, the IACP conducted a series of critical issues forums in eight cities throughout the United States to gain a better understanding of the critical issues facing law enforcement today.1 More than 450 leaders, representing small, midsize, large, state, provincial, federal, tribal, and college and university agencies, had the opportunity to share the challenges and concerns they face, as well as the solutions some have developed in response to such
challenges. Despite the diversity in agency type, size, and location—and the distinct challenges each faced, several general areas were identified by the leaders as being some of the biggest challenges they faced—one of those common topic areas was technology.
Technology has become increasingly critical for day-to-day law enforcement operations and no longer exists in its own silo. From body-worn cameras (BWCs) and closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) to digital evidence collection and the use of community informatics to identify traffic flow trends, new and innovative technologies have the ability to better protect law enforcement officers, to increase the efficiency and efficacy of investigations, and to improve public safety for the community overall. But managing, maintaining, and keeping up with technological advancements create their own set of challenges for law enforcement agencies.